Writer/Director, Connor McPherson deserves a pat on the back, and a warm embrace by horror fans the world over for delivering one of the most mature, romantic, melancholic, and, at times, shocking films seen in ages.
If you've come for blood, gore and general mayhem, move on. However, if you want to watch a film that will slowly entice you, seduce you, and then make you scream out loud; The Eclipse is just what the doctor ordered.
Taking place in a bucolic sea-side town in Ireland, The Eclipse tells the story of a middle aged widower ( Michael Farr played by Ciarán Hinds) who is raising his two children, caring for his elderly father-in-law and making ends meet by teaching wood working classes as well as serving as a part time chauffeur. While still mourning the death of his wife, Michael finds himself going through the motions trying to keep hearth and home together.
Early on in the proceedings we discover that Michael is hearing voices and seeing fleeting images late at night. It does not seem that this is the ghost of his wife. Strangely, it appears to be the image of his ailing (but still living) father-in-law. Despite the things going bump in the night, Michael continues on, and at one point finds himself chauffeuring authors to a literary festival.
His first charge is the self important, boorish, Nicholas (Aidan Quinn), a very successful novelist who is in town to chat up his latest book as well as rekindle a romance he once had with fellow scribe, Lena (Iben Hjejle). While Nicholas may be "haunted" (as he claims) by the affair the two shared, Lena seems less than interested. Eventually, she finds comfort and solace in her driver, Michael, who in turn confides in her about his late night spook fests. Michael figures that the authoress is the one person he can speak to about this, as she has penned a best selling novel on ghosts.
Eventually we are drawn into this love story, rooting for Michael, and hoping that Nick the lout, moves on. It seems simple - this is a love story...and then, out of nowhere, the ghoulish visions begin popping up, and frankly they scared the shit out of me, I can't say it any other way than that - absolutely, mind numbingly horrifying visions begin to haunt Michael - and I jumped out of my skin several times.
Then again, this is not exactly a horror film. I suppose it is a love story with horrific elements, OK, let's agree to that as a fair description.
Be forewarned, this is not a movie for the Saw crowd. It is a very, very slow moving film that requires the viewer to sit, watch, and pay attention. Oh, and one more thing, you might need to keep a box of tissues nearby - there is something that occurs just before the film ends that left me welled up - chances are, it will have the same effect on you.
|lena and michael: haunted by the ghost of a chance|